ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Tags: 2F 1M

Anica is a graduate sociology student who works as a researcher for a journal, interviewing Zagreb's older ladies in their apartments, posing delicate questions about their sexual life. Mrs Ivana Domanić, a charity worker with a good heart, is willing to help Anica because she feels “professionally deformed” by humanity. Gradually, a secret link between the two women  is exposed, which brings them into a complicated and difficult relationship. For between them, there is also a man and a shocking discovery!



YEAR OF PRODUCTION: 1998/99

NUMBER OF FEMALE CHARACTERS: 2 (about 25, late fourties)

NUMBER OF MALE CHARACTERS: 1 (late fourties)

COPYRIGHT: ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


CHARACTERS:


1. DOMA (IVANA DOMANIĆ - PERJAR), age 45 
2. ANICA, age 25 
3. OSCAR PERJAR, age 44


TIME:  PRESENT

PLACE:   THE DOMANIĆ - PERJAR FAMILY APARTMENT


SCENE 1


(DOMA enters the living room from the hall, walks towards the cabinet and opens a drawer, and right after her ANICA follows. She is carrying a large folder with papers sticking out. She is wet through, her hair is wet, as well as her jacket and shoes. Doma is looking for a hair dryer in the drawer and she finds it.)


DOMA: No, no and no! I'm sorry, but no! My day passes by so quickly that I don't even have enough time to finish all the things I have to do, so I wouldn't even dream of adding any more of them to my list! And for what purpose!?

ANICA: But I beg you! It'll be a charitable deed! Please!

DOMA: I really don't see what it has to do with good deeds? I don't see anything noble in it...There's no sense in wasting time on some good-for-nothings... I don't have time for that! Don't you see that I'm tidying up the apartment! It's the only day I'm at home so I have to clear away all the garbage...

ANICA: It won't take long if you answer briefly! But you can also answer fully in detail if you want...

DOMA: I can't and I don't want to! Neither briefly nor in detail! I'm a respectable public person, taking care of serious matters... Important! Like helping others!

ANICA: Then help me! You're not going to throw me out, are you? It's pouring outside, I don't have an umbrella, and I'll surely catch pneumonia if I have to reach the other part of town!

DOMA: O.K. then, have a seat, dry yourself, here's the hair dryer; I wasn't thinking of throwing you out in the street! Take off your jacket; I'll put it by the heater. Here's a towel, and when you dry yourself, you can leave. But I'm not answering any questions! Would you like some tea?

ANICA: Oh, yes, thank you! Thank you very much, you're so kind!

DOMA: Maybe I am, but forget the poll. I'm not some kind of average! Take off your shoes, if you want. Are your feet wet? Do your shoes let water in?

ANICA: Both shoes, and socks, and feet - everything! (Takes off her shoes and socks.)

DOMA: Then I'll bring you a dry pair of socks. Let me put them on the heater to dry. They're all black now, even though you're wearing white socks!

ANICA: My shoes stain in the rain.

DOMA: They aren't the best quality, are they?

ANICA: Someone else bought them for me, so I don't know how much they cost... I think they're really nice and I love them.

DOMA: Even though they're not good for you... Here's a pair of clean socks. Both dry and comfortable and tough.

ANICA: Thank you. Mine are everything but that...

DOMA: Oh my God, why do these things always happen to me... Everyone's always asking something from me, and there's nothing I ask for.... (She puts Anica's socks on the heater)

ANICA: That's because you have a humanitarian karma. (She wipes the folder with her sleeve) And even my folder is wet. Luckily, it's coated, so the water just slips off, otherwise my questionnaires that I've been filling out around houses for days

would be sodden and soaked...

DOMA: Here's a cloth for you. I'll prepare some tea. You have some magazines here... But they're all serious, scientific ones...

ANICA: I'm doing a survey for the respectable weekly "Panorama", and the research is headed by a sociology doctor  Jasmina Leko ! And I'm an undergraduate. I read serious maga ...

DOMA: Well, O.K., for me it's all the same! You really picked the right theme and the right person!

(She goes into the kitchen, and Anica jumps up and starts snooping around and peeking everywhere; rummaging through the papers on the table, afraid of being caught. Then she sits down, takes a magazine and leafs through it while glancing about. Doma enters the room, bringing tea.)

ANICA: Thank you, it didn't take you long. Oh, this will really do me good! (She takes a sip.) This will save me!

DOMA: Be careful, it's hot! You're going to spill it! Why are your hands shaking?

ANICA: I'm a little bit nervous since I'm new in this job, and you are such a respectable person, I don't want to mess up and make a bad impression...

DOMA: Good or bad, I don't care. Would you like some rum in your tea?

ANICA: Well, a little bit would be fine, thank you so much. (Doma pours some rum.)

Great, thanks. Everyone offers me drinks, but not everyone gives me answers. Many refuse, people are suspicious, distrustful, they think it's some kind of spying, everyone's afraid, no one wants to say what's on their mind, even about such innocent themes, and I have nothing to eat. If I don't get any answers, I won't get paid either. How will I survive?

DOMA: Erotic life is thought to be an innocent theme? That's a nice point of view.

ANICA: Isn't it true? It's the most innocent theme around us!

DOMA: Innocence is usually related to the absence of erotic life...

ANICA: Then it can be related to the absence of food as well.

DOMA: And so you say, very few accept to answer the questions?

ANICA: I really have to do a lot of walking before I find a good and brave person... Two, maybe three out of ten... Mostly young people...

(She uses the expressions: "good", "brave" and "young" very cunningly.)

DOMA: Not more than that? It's really hard for you to make a living.

ANICA: I've been walking all day and I've collected five - six questionnaires. I'm exhausted, hungry, everyone offers me something to drink and no one offers food. I take a sip everywhere, so I'm a bit tipsy, because the drinks are always on an empty stomach...

DOMA: So, it means that you want something to eat, too?

ANICA: Of course not, I'm telling you all this just to show you my situation... And perhaps for you to agree to this poll!

DOMA: And even if I agreed, I couldn't answer these questions. They aren't intended for me!

ANICA: Why not? They are for all women over 18.

DOMA: Why me of all women? I can't answer questions about the erotic life of Croatian women!

ANICA: And why not?

DOMA: Well: because I'm not a full-blooded Croat!

ANICA: You're not full-blooded?

DOMA: No, I'm of mixed ancestry.

ANICA: You know what? It doesn't matter. No one will know, the poll is anonymous. I might as well interview Bosnian and Macedonian women... I even slip in Serb women!

DOMA: The poll is discriminating and I won't accept this. It should be called: "The erotic life of townswomen of Croatia".

ANICA: Then it would be discriminating for countrywomen!

DOMA: Damn, that's true - if it's taken literally...

ANICA: Croatian women shouldn't be taken literally, either...

DOMA: Well, all right... In the end, I don't care. Why should I reveal my intimacy to some idle readers who have noting better to do...

ANICA: Not to them, but to me! You don't risk anything; think of this as humanitarian work! This is my only source of income. Miserable, but the only one. I can hardly support myself with these petty jobs!... And my undergraduate period has passed, so I'm not entitled to student meal tickets anymore or the room at the student hostel!

DOMA: Why didn't you graduate on time?

ANICA: Because of the terrible stress. Death of the dearest person... My life was over...

DOMA: Mother?

ANICA: You can't even imagine such horror... And even if I graduated on time, I would be doing this same job. My colleagues with diplomas also go around with questionnaires...

DOMA: I feel sorry for you, I really do.

ANICA: There are only twenty questions, it wouldn't take you long... Just start, stop thinking about yes - no, yes - no, just take them...

DOMA: I'm not thinking yes - no, just: no! Respect my opinion in my home, and if I ever come to your home I'll go by your rules...

ANICA: Only - I don't have a home. I'm sharing one with a student until I find something; but she expects me to pay because she doesn't work either... And there's smoke from the boiler room coming through the window of my room, I can hardly breathe...

DOMA: I'm sorry, Anica, but there's nothing I can do about it. Drink your tea, pour as much as you like, and I'll bring you some sandwiches. Dry yourself, eat whatever you want and then leave. But the poll is out of the question. Is that clear? Do you eat meat?

ANICA: As if I were someone who can choose! I eat everything, from snails to ostrich, from nettle to mulberry, from nails to locomotives, as long as there is something!

DOMA: We ate the locomotive with spaghetti yesterday, but we'll find something else... Perhaps a hydraulic compressor... (She leaves the room.)

ANICA: If it's a compressor, put a little bit more mayonnaise... Oh, I'm so embarrassed to ask you for food... I can't even control myself; I'm a little tipsy...

DOMA: Tipsy, yet conducting a poll.

ANICA: I'm not the one who's going to answer, but you.

DOMA: Oh, no I won't. But, why do you accept all those drinks?

ANICA: I can't say no! I'm not usually willing, but I accept the drinks to make them accept the poll! Everyone urges and forces you until you accept... You have to!

DOMA: You don't have to! Just refuse it!

ANICA: But they pour the drink anyway!

DOMA: That's a stupid custom, but who cares: have a full glass in front of you!

ANICA: I just can't resist drinking when it's there. It seems as if I were insulting them...

DOMA: They are insulting you, because they think you are lying if you say that you won't drink! I wouldn't have poured you a drink if you had said: no!

ANICA: I drink a little bit also to fight the nervousness, to be more courageous and persistent, otherwise I would have second thoughts and leave immediately if someone rejected me.

DOMA: People reject you because they don't see any sense in this. Who needs this anyway?

ANICA: They thought of it for some reason, they read for some reason. If everyone rejected it there wouldn't be a single poll. If everyone rejected, there wouldn't be anything. Accept it so there is something...

DOMA:  What a sophism! And... did anyone in particular mention me? To come right to my place and ask all these questions?

ANICA: Of course not, it's all anonymous, random choice! But I prefer to contact educated people, because they know how to express what they want to say and they are much more sincere. Don't tell me that you think this is some sort of spying, that there is "something hidden behind" all this?

DOMA: You know what: I work for a non-governmental organization, and... I'm not an anonymous person, so it's unlikely that my questionnaire would remain anonymous! You could put some kind of sign. Or just remember something...

ANICA: What sign, why put a sign? Such a questionnaire would be invalid! You'll look everything over when we finish! And memory? Come on, among all those questionnaires and all those answers... Are you maybe afraid of something?

DOMA: No, of course not! I'm not afraid of anything. I have the most decent job in the world, and do it as honestly as I can, I can say everything - and I do - openly; my each and every word is recorded anyway, everything that I do and say is known...

ANICA: So then? Everything is known; only this would be secret and anonymous! Here, take a look, it's all on a very high level, this is my card, see: my photo, stamp, signature, everything. You see, my real name is Anka, and I'm conducting a poll! It seems as if I was born for this job!

DOMA: The right girl for the right job, only in the wrong apartment!

ANICA: And your name could be Ono, since you keep repeating: "Oh no!"

DOMA: My name is Joan, but they call me Doma.

ANICA: The kids gave you the nickname after your last name?

DOMA: No, but the class master at school. There were five Johns (boys) in the class and six Joans (girls), so he gave us nicknames - those with longer last name.

ANICA: He called those with short last names by their last name.

DOMA: Excellent, you're a smart girl.

ANICA: That's really appropriate: Domina, lady of the house...

DOMA: The only thing is that my nickname has little to do with the real situation...

ANICA: You are the mistress of different good-for-nothings. And the home is your territory. You are the mistress of your own life and your own paths, you're free to go wherever you want and you never have to be at home...

DOMA: Staying at home is not such a bad thing that I would want to run away from it.

ANICA: I thought because... it seems that you are alone...

DOMA: Well, not exactly... But, to tell the truth, you're right... Whichever way you look at it at the end you are all alone... Perhaps loneliness is even worse when you're with someone, because this person obstructs all your paths and vistas, by making you believe that you have someone, that's why you become inactive... And when you are really alone, everything is open in front of you, all is possible, you are full of expectations and hope, you keep on going...

ANICA: That's true! (She drinks her tea.) My baby will learn how to swim before it is born!

DOMA: You're pregnant? And yet you're drinking alcohol!

ANICA: I have to learn from you how to refuse...

DOMA: People who don't know that ruin their lives!

ANICA: I know! That is - I don't know...

DOMA: I'll bring you something to eat. To chase away all that alcohol from the poor baby. And how old is this ... little fellow?

ANICA: Almost two months old... My appetite has doubled, yet I have only half the food...

DOMA: I'll be right back... Something caloric! Eggs? Cheese? Sour cream? Liver paste?

ANICA: All of that sounds fine! And something sour!

DOMA: Of course! I have some yoghurt!

ANICA: Great! Thank you, thank you! I love yoghurt... It's cow's nectar...

(She gets up immediately and looks all around. She wants to open one door, but doesn't dare to, afraid that Doma might appear.) It's the drink of milk gods, somewhat more sour gods... seed from the Milky Way...

(She snoops around, then returns to the sofa. Doma appears, places all the food in front of her, and Anica goes for the food at once, first the yoghurt.)

DOMA: Here you are, this is for both of you.

ANICA: You're so kind. I feel the hunger both in my hands and feet, not only in my stomach.

DOMA: And where's the father? It takes two to have a baby.

ANICA: He became someone else's daddy before, so he has to be with that baby.

DOMA: Married and father of the family?

ANICA: Formally it's still a marriage; I don't have to share him with his wife anymore. He sleeps over at his house, but just sleeps! Sometimes not even that. Only, he still doesn't know that I'm pregnant, I'm getting ready to tell him, I don't know when and how...

DOMA: Why such caution, if you're sure that it's his baby?

ANICA: I don't have a job, and he would have to feed four, if we add a child from his first marriage to the list. And this is impossible with a professor's salary.

(The word “professor's” just pops up.)

DOMA: He's a professor? And where does he teach?

ANICA: Well, at this... At my university! Faculty... of Arts!

DOMA: Of course, typical. My husband's also a professor. At the College of Education... This is surely great love, when this man is thinking about divorce.

ANICA: It sure is. It has been going on for over a year!

DOMA: That means, serious. What does your father say about this?

ANICA: He knows very little about me... I haven't seen him for 10 years...

DOMA: One more happy family... So this means that you haven't got anyone?

ANICA: Just my darling, the solid ground under my feet and the starry sky above.

DOMA: And the endless world around me, what else can you have? You said something very similar to me, didn't you?

ANICA: I'm a little scared because yesterday he told me he would go back to his wife if I didn't stop bothering him. And the thing that bothers him is that I want him to show me the copy of the papers, because he says he filed for a divorce...

DOMA: You have doubts about that?

ANICA: Yes, and that's why he's angry... And then when he hears about the baby...

DOMA: You have to be prepared for everything; you have invaded someone else's territory... It won't be easy for you; I wouldn't like to be in your skin... Here, eat some more, don't be shy! Have some more bread, to soak up all the alcohol!

ANICA: I'm eating, I'm eating, I adore bread. As soon as I see bread I become so chewable! Oh, I'm so embarrassed now, as if I were some uncivilized girl, coming here and asking for food...

DOMA: It's all right, I'm used to that, I can't let someone who doesn't have anything to eat leave my house hungry...

ANICA: Do you have anything sour?

DOMA: Sour? Of course, how could I even think that one yoghurt would be enough... The baby is asking for more! Maybe I have some pickled gherkins, if the members of the household didn't eat them all while I was away...

ANICA: You have pickled gherkins???

DOMA: When I was pregnant I used to eat a whole jar a day! And on the way home from the marketplace I would eat a kilo of oranges, I just couldn't resist! I would sit in the park and get right down to it! I'll bring them right away, Anica! Oh, I'm sorry, calling you by name!

ANICA: Of course you can call me by my first name. I might as well be your daughter - judging by my age, I mean.

DOMA: Yes, unfortunately. I'll see if there's something sour for you.

(Doma leaves, and Anica quickly goes to the door, opens it, and then closes quickly.

Doma appears, but Anica is still standing.)

ANICA: I'm sorry, I was looking for the toilet, I've had a lot to drink, so I was thinking of taking care of that while...

DOMA: Well, all right, but it's not this door, but the other one there. Go ahead.

(She shows her the other door and Anica goes there. Doma is trying to open the jar, but can't. She's trying hard, moaning, and mumbling some curses. Anica soon returns.)

DOMA: I've found the pickled gherkins, I'm so happy that I have them!

ANICA: Pickled gherkins, pickled gherkins, I can't wait to taste them! Bless you, when you're so kind! You can't open the jar? Let me try!

DOMA: No, no you should take it easy, or else you could lose your baby!

ANICA: If I knew that I would, I'd keep on opening jars all night long!

DOMA: How can you say that! The baby has a right to be born, since it has been conceived already!

ANICA: Well, I also have a right to live, since I was born, and yet what good is it!

DOMA: Why are you so depressed?

ANICA: I'm afraid of tomorrow. But I'm also afraid of today! I'm afraid of making the wrong decision, making the wrong move, everything that I do... I'm afraid of everything!

DOMA: You're over-exaggerating: that's because of your condition... Protective fear... I'm also afraid that I won't be able to open this jar!

ANICA: Because it's for me! How could I even hope to get those pickled gherkins! I'm dribbling at the mouth! I never get what I really want! Come on, let me try! I'll bite this jar right through!

(Doma hands her the jar and she tries to open it but can't.)

Nothing is at it should be when it's for me...

DOMA: Your lover helps support you?

ANICA: As much as he can; otherwise I would drop dead.

DOMA: Can he? Does he make a lot of money?

ANICA: He has some extra earnings, which he doesn't tell his wife about.

DOMA: Just like my husband. Interesting coincidence.

ANICA: That's usually the case.

DOMA: You have a lot of experience with married men?

ANICA: No, this is my first. But my friends tell me.

DOMA: They all have married men for lovers?

ANICA: Many of them do. The greater the poverty, the less respect and criteria there are.

DOMA: Poor wives, they don't even dream of things like this happening to them! Cheeky little girls, sluts, what are you doing? How can you snatch away husbands from such decent wives?

ANICA: The wives have snatched everything for themselves, while young girls are yearning desperately.

DOMA: As if the old wives are not!

ANICA: At least no one will blame me... I never had anything, everything just passed me by. I never took anything from anyone, never took away anything, I lived in poverty, always wishing for something. I've got only one skirt, one jacket and one pair of trousers... in fact two pairs, I got them recently for my birthday...

DOMA: My husband is surrounded by only women at the university! Students - women, professors - women, trainees - women, employees - women... Such opportunities that he has! He just reaches out and whatever he catches is - female!

ANICA: Men always have the opportunities, we don't even have to be at hand, it's a man's world! They have access everywhere, they can approach whoever they want, they can allow themselves everything, nothing is off limits for them... whereas for us, everything is... except bare life  ... With an accent on "bare".

DOMA: So young, yet so pessimistic...

ANICA: Only my body is young, but my soul is old. And my body is looking for a completely different life than my inner being...

DOMA: That sounds very familiar...

ANICA: I'm just... a soul thrown out into the world, then forgotten; an abandoned child in this indifferent world...

DOMA: And the world is abandoned in the indifferent universe!

ANICA: You have to push and shout at the top of your voice all the time to attract attention, to remind people that you exist, and I haven't got such penetrating power or ruthlessness to be obtrusive...

DOMA: True values are not expressed in such a way.

ANICA: True values? They don't live here, anyway... I have this feeling all the time... that I live somewhere at the end of the world, beyond everything relevant, where nothing happens, in a rotten backwater of anachronisms, in a truly backward environment... Why do we always experience the worst?

DOMA: We mustn't be sad because of what has happened, but happy because of all the bad things that haven't happened to us! That's what I keep saying to my refugees!

ANICA: But we don't know all that hasn't happened!

DOMA: Many things, there's such misfortune everywhere around us...You're alive and healthy!

ANICA: Partly alive, and occasionally healthy.

DOMA: Don't say that at your age! You need to travel East to see what a hard life people lead there...

ANICA: I'd prefer to go West, to see and taste the wonderful life people lead there, but I can go neither East nor West, I don't have an opportunity for that.

DOMA: You have never been abroad?

ANICA: Never. I'm a domestic traveler. I only stare through the window, look at the chimney, breathe in carbon monoxide and daydream... And wait for him to call...

DOMA: And does he?

ANICA: Lately somewhat less frequently than before...

DOMA:  Why don't you find someone your age, who's free?

ANICA: That's because I don't live by the same rules as others at my age. I'm not interested in the same things they're interested in. I had a boyfriend, and I left him when I... met him.

DOMA: You didn't love him?

ANICA: He loved a group; he always wanted us to be with others. When we were alone, everything was boring - everything except sex. And he never looked me straight in the eyes while talking, if he talked at all. How can you be in love with such a person? And the fun? Since we couldn't afford the only forms of entertainment for the young, disco and pizzeria, we'd take a box of biscuits and a bottle of beer and go to the attic: a few of us, always a group, just like apes. We'd take a guitar, just in case we ran out of jokes, which soon happened because we knew all those jokes. And then one would tap on the guitar, and the rest of us would hum silly songs that I didn't listen to, so I didn't know the words but just opened my mouth like a fish out of water, feeling stupid and miserable. And they would bray, snicker, not knowing what awaits them...

DOMA: God awarded ignorance to the young, so they could perform their tasks without resistance...

ANICA: Which are all stupid, including the continuation of species.

DOMA: And so, you also fell for it, like everyone else.

ANICA: Our instinct always conquers our reason... You know, I was about to commit suicide before I met him!

DOMA: Please, Anica! Don't make jokes about that! Are you aware of what you 're saying?

ANICA: Do you know how many young people do that? And no one believes them when they talk about their intentions...

DOMA: God help you, don't even mention it!

ANICA: But when I met him, I felt that I was saved! I kept on repeating: oh my life that I love! Life that I adore! You push the raft when the water is almost up to your neck, and that water becomes a lake where you start to swim once again, thrilled by the beauty and happiness...

DOMA: True, such a raft seems to appear ... almost always ...That is the wonderful thing in life, perhaps a sign that, nevertheless, Something takes care of us...

ANICA: And it would be even better if it all depended on us, and not “Something”: forces, secrets and unknown.... Come on, let me try to open that jar one more time, while I'm looking at those pickled gherkins, I get a burning desire...

(She tries to open the jar again, and from now on they take turns trying to open the jar with the help of different things, which Doma brings: coin, can opener, knife, spoon, fork, screwdriver, monkey wrench, etc. But they can't open it.)

DOMA: It takes much more strength for this than we have.

(She looks at the questionnaires.) Those questions deal with our innermost feelings. The intimate ones.

ANICA: They have to, since they are all about intimate life! How can you learn about intimate life if you don't deal with it!

DOMA: Today everything's about sex. In every magazine there's a questionnaire about the copulation of Croats. Perhaps someone is also interested in the sex life of national minorities?

ANICA: Such polls are very common in western countries. It's high time we came out of our shells as well. The same things happen to everyone, only some people talk about them, and some don't. We hide our innermost feelings, as if it's something to be ashamed of. Thank God there are still people who want to say something about themselves, because that's how we learn that others have problems too, and there are questions they cannot answer.

DOMA: That's "Panorama"? That's not such a bad magazine ...True, it's full of gossip pages just like all the others, but who can tell the difference between gossip and information...

ANICA: If gossip is based on truth, then it is information...

DOMA: And now, why should all this be of any interest to me?

ANICA: You have a chance to pour out all your family troubles, since you can't complain to anyone, anyway!

DOMA: What makes you think that I have a reason to complain? All I'm saying is: if we all refuse this poll, you won't earn your money...

ANICA: That's what I told you in the first place and that's why I'm kindly asking you...

DOMA: Well, if it's a matter of your survival...

ANICA: It is! I knew right from the beginning that you would say yes! The first moment I saw you I knew you were a dear person!

DOMA: How did you know that?

ANICA: You can see that by your face and voice, and the way you move! And then your hair...

DOMA: Look who's talking? (She laughs) You are the one who's persistent and not fettered like you present yourself! Well, in the end, why not if it's all hundred percent anonymous? Can you guarantee this?

ANICA: I swear!

DOMA: You can be very frank with someone you hardly know! Once in the train from Ljubljana to Sarajevo, a woman from Split told me all the secrets of her life without telling me her name! I too, told her some things that no one knows but me! This is because we knew we would never see each other again!

ANICA: Well, you have to take the opportunity when someone wants to listen carefully more than five minutes! This is so rare!

DOMA: True. I listen to everyone, they talk about their troubles in detail, and I tell mine to  - no one. I only speak to myself. Well, I can't compare myself with them, I'm far away from them...They're under constant threats, bombing, their homes being burnt down ... I don't complain, when I hear about such atrocities...

ANICA: You also have frostbites and burns of your own... Don't keep anything to yourself, this leads to wounds, it cuts deep into your stomach, you have to let it all out! Take the chance.

DOMA: The worst thing you can do is not be able to express yourself, describe yourself, cry yourself out loud, as if you had an ulcer you couldn't get rid of ...I'll see if there's anything else sour in the fridge and then we can start with the poll? All right?

ANICA: Yes indeed! Thank you, you're really a true and genuine humanitarian!

(Doma goes into the kitchen.)

(Some time later. Anica and Doma are busy with the poll. Anica uses a spoon to scrape the bottom of the aivar jar, which she has almost completely eaten.)

ANICA: Next question: "What is, in your opinion, the main characteristic of the opposite sex?"

DOMA: The main characteristic of men? .... That they don't wash their hands! (Writes down in her form.)

ANICA: True! And when you remind them to wash them, they always say: "They're clean!"

DOMA: "What do you think of the opposite sex?" Weeell. How to squeeze it all in this small space...

ANICA: Squeeze it in somehow, write small letters...

DOMA: Oh no! Shortly: men are beings with a constantly guilty conscience! Right!

(She writes down.)

ANICA: Both their hands and conscience! Yes, they're always up to something!

DOMA: "What do you think of your partner as a person?" ...Good professor, poor

husband. Great ideas, actions...failure. Smart, does silly things ... Oh, no ... (She erases this.) It's a good thing that I'm using a pencil first ... (She writes again) There's a certain gap between his creative and that ... apish ... (She laughs) ... and that dumb, biological part of his being!

ANICA: Question: "Is your partner the right person you have been waiting for since your early youth?"

DOMA: Come on! That doesn't happen to anyone! How can you find such a person, in such a big world! I waited for the right one until I was 29, and then when I was 30, I married the wrong one! (Writes).

ANICA: "Do you love your partner more, less or the same as in the beginning of your relationship?"

DOMA: Sometimes less, sometimes more ...There's no  ...Well, in any case - less ...

ANICA: Shall we continue?

DOMA: No, no. I won't write that. Where's the eraser? It was here a minute ago! Give it to me! (Erases.) Where will I ...I have no heart! He has his faults, but then nobody's perfect. I love him like I did in the beginning; he was the first one who was truly interested in me, the first to tell me that he loved me, and the first one who told me I was beautiful! Imagine what it's like for a girl, in the world where beauty is the only accepted value, who has never been told that she's beautiful until the age of 30! And Oscar was the one who told me that! Even though I don't consider myself beautiful, for him I was!

ANICA: And that's how he won you over?

DOMA: Well, he didn't really have to win me over! I didn't interest anyone and nobody paid any attention to me. When I used to sit with my friends, they would all talk and listen to each other, but when I started to talk, they would start looking around, interrupting me and going to the toilet! I was so unattractive, grey, boring, restrained, uninteresting, frightened, badly dressed ... and such a man wanted me! I couldn't believe my eyes or ears! I thought that he was a hundred times better than me in every way!

ANICA: And now you think differently?

DOMA: Well, not really. But ...he helped me form a better opinion about myself! And gain self-confidence! And assurance ...which I didn't have at all...

ANICA: "Are you happy in marriage?"

DOMA: Happy. God. Am I or am I not? When you take this into consideration... in fact...when I give it some thought ...why not? Well, no. Am I not? Well, I'm not. Basically: I'm not. Why should I lie? What good is that to me? At least here I can say: I'm not. (Writes)

ANICA: "What are the main reasons for your discontent in marriage?"

DOMA: Problems begin already at the front door, continue through the hall and living room, and then through the kitchen and bathroom, and end in the bedroom. I mean - end, because he sleeps in the afternoon, and in the evening, when I go to sleep he gets up and starts writing poems! I don't even know until what time, because I'm asleep and have nothing to do with him, since I don't even dream of him!

ANICA: That's how he avoids sex?

DOMA: He says that he has inspiration for his poems at that time! Around midnight! The poems are brought by demons, moths and vampires on their scarlet tails and wings!!!

ANICA: Now we have to formulate it shortly so it fits in this space...

DOMA: The main reasons ...Various ...Different...Differences in ...Well: difference in sex, that's it! (Writes) Differences in sex! Perfectly said!

ANICA: Yes, wise. That's that, essential ...everything else is just a bunch of details! Let's go on? "Where does sex stand on your list?"

DOMA: Oooo. Aaaaaaaa! Well, what kind of...

ANICA: What is it?

DOMA: You can't ask this. It's such a stupid question! First? Second? Third? Silly...Now should I circle ...Third? Seventh? First? Oh my God, why did I agree to do this!

ANICA: Don't hesitate now when you've started off so well!

DOMA: All right: it's in the first place!

ANICA: Excuse me?

DOMA: You heard me: first place! (Writes.) It's in the first place! What's next?

ANICA: "Do you like to make love?"

DOMA: I love it! I'm crazy about sex! That's all I think of! (Writes.)

ANICA: Aren't you exaggerating a bit?

DOMA: What? You think I'm too old for that? Come on prove that it's not so! Whether it's true or not, love has to become recognized as much as possible! To encourage people!

ANICA: This is not a matter of love, but sex...

DOMA: For women this is inseparable! Isn't it the same for you?

ANICA: Well in fact... Yes, it is. We either make love because we're in love, or we fall in love with someone because we made love!

DOMA: Well said and very true. What's next?

ANICA: "Do you make love only in bed or in other places?"

DOMA: In bed and on a business trip, ha, ha! And why is this important, anyway?

ANICA: As much as everything else. It's fun to compare yourself with others, to see that others do crazy things as well, so that you don't feel ashamed of what you're doing!

DOMA: Only in bed, nothing embarrassing! The floor is never clean enough because he walks around everywhere in his shoes, and it's also too hard for your back! The

bathroom is perhaps convenient for that, but our bathtub is too small. I hate the kitchen, and the living room smells of tobacco, and Philip could come in unexpectedly...

ANICA: You have to condense this. And write with your pen, why are you so insecure?

DOMA: (Writes.) Only in bed, unfortunately. There, it's written in pen; and that's final!

ANICA: And now something more delicate: "Does your partner satisfy you?"

DOMA: Oh my, this is too intimate! No, I won't answer this! You should have sent those questions by mail!

ANICA: They go by mail and interview. What is it; you've become inhibited again? Do you watch Oprah? Those Americans are so open and free! We're in a rat hole, holed up and cramped, and they're on a wide field, drawing deep breaths and living their life to the full! What good is keeping everything to yourself? What does this lead to? Ulcer, insult?

DOMA: And what's the use of saying whether my husband satisfies me?

ANICA: To see if you are the lucky minority, or...

DOMA: Well, all right: I belong to the majority. (Writes.) Sometimes yes, sometimes no, or frequently no. Let's continue.

ANICA: "When did you make love for the first time?"

DOMA: Well, I'm embarrassed to say: I was 22! (Writes.) There aren't such cases anymore.

ANICA: There are some, but they're very rare.

DOMA: Older ones?

ANICA: I don't think so. Generations have nothing to do with it.

DOMA: That makes sense. It's a matter of individuals, not groups. And when did you?

ANICA: When I was nineteen... Should we continue? "Was it a positive or negative experience?"

DOMA: It was terrible. (Writes.)

ANICA: For me too. It's the same with all girls.

DOMA: And it wasn't anything better the second time, was it?

ANICA: And how long will it be like that?

DOMA: Until you have the courage to get what you need in that embrace!

ANICA: That's a bit difficult...

DOMA: And risky! That could turn him off because if he tries hard... he has more work to do! Men don't feel like it. For them caressing is hard work. Extremely! They don't see any sense in it.

ANICA: "Is your present partner the best one you've had sex with?"

DOMA: It's getting more personal! And what if I give up now?

ANICA: Please don't, not now!

DOMA: Why do you have such intimate questions in your poll?

ANICA: They have to be, when it's a poll about intimate relationships! Listen to me, we're always squeezed like a duck's ass, we're so reserved and bottled up! These are just our common, everyday human experiences. We all do that and are all interested in it!

DOMA: I'm no duck's ass! No, my partner is not the best! There were better ones! But they didn't fall in love with me! And they didn't want to marry me! I'm summarizing it: yes, my husband is the best!

ANICA: All right. Next: "Are you in favor of conservative or liberal marriage?"

DOMA: Liberal and open, like the door of the department store, so anyone who wants can go in and out? Only patients can accept that... Well... I'm not really in favor of wide open doors, however some draught here and there... It could be tolerated.

(Writes.)

ANICA: Interesting! "Has your partner ever been unfaithful to you?"

DOMA: No, and why would he, when he has everything here. Even more than he needs and deserves. (Writes.)

ANICA: "What would you do if you realized that your partner has someone else?"

DOMA: What would happen? My whole world would fall apart. My soul would die out.

(Writes.)

ANICA: "Would you divorce him?"

DOMA: Naturally. Who would ever remain married to a man who loves someone else?

(Writes.)

ANICA: "Are you jealous?"

DOMA: Maybe a little, but I don't show it, so my husband doesn't become even more distrustful and reserved... And somehow it's unworthy, tormenting someone by suspecting: it's humiliating for both... (Writes.)

ANICA: He claims that you are not jealous at all, that you are open and tolerant!

DOMA: How does he claim that, who does he claim this to? Where does he claim this, what are you talking about?

ANICA: (All confused that it slipped, she tries to make up excuses.) Well, I'm asking you if he claims this, because he surely thinks like that. I said that as a question, considering that a man doesn't even dream of what's hidden behind the so-called openness of a woman, since they would all want such a woman, and then the men... and then the women...

DOMA: No woman can remain indifferent in this case, even if she doesn't love her husband! After all, he's her husband! They have exchanged vows!

ANICA: I can understand that...

DOMA: And you'll understand it even better when you get married! The wedding ceremony itself is a very touching event, especially if it's so modest as ours was, not to mention everything else that comes later on...

ANICA: Yes, I understand... New question: "Is your partner jealous?"

DOMA: Not at all. (Writes.) But, I'd prefer that he was at least a little bit...

ANICA: Maybe he's restraining himself and doesn't want to show the jealousy, just like you?

DOMA: Well, no, he's sure that no one else would ever want me. Since he's not interested in me anymore, he thinks that no one else is interested in me, either.

ANICA: And he's wrong?

DOMA: Well, yes, perhaps he is. Is that a question?

ANICA: No. But this is: "Did you make love more frequently in the beginning than you do today?"

DOMA: Well, of course.

ANICA: "After how many years did you start losing interest in sex?"

DOMA: Oh... After three? Five? I don't know... Six? (Writes.) Seven, I guess.... Well, you know what? He is the one who lost interest, mine varies! When I'm angry with him, I don't want him, but when I like him because of something, I wag my tail, meow... Sometimes in vain...

ANICA: Can it be said that you need more than you get, since you want sex often, but don't want him...?

DOMA: Correct! Bright girl! What's next?

(Doma occasionally reads the questions, and sometimes asks Anica, since every now and then she tries to open the jar again, or searches for something new to open it with.)

ANICA: "If you have lost interest in sex, why has this happened?"

DOMA: Ask him! Only he would never agree to this poll, since he is neither sincere,

nor would bother to answer unless there were cameras around him and a mesmerized

audience...

ANICA: You haven't answered.

DOMA: Well, I don't know... I have quite a few grey hairs... Then cellulite, wrinkles, some sort of varicose veins and hematomas everywhere, infections... And he's not so fit anymore... He's tired, has backaches... And what do others say?

ANICA: Mostly, that the object is less interesting when it ages, and that even the best one becomes boring when everything is the same. It has been scientifically proven that the period during which people are in love is: 18 months.

DOMA: Who has proved this?

ANICA: Scientists at the Psychiatry department of the University of Pisa.

DOMA: How did they ever manage to measure that?

ANICA: They found that the level of serotonin in blood is about 40% lower in people who are in love than those who aren't. And that level remains the same for 18 months, and then it increases, whereas the passion decreases and disappears.

DOMA: You heard this at the university?

ANICA: I read it in the daily papers.

DOMA: That means it lasts for two 9-month periods, enough to conceive two children, and after that it isn't important. That's very sad! But it's a great comfort that it's the same with everyone!

ANICA: And it's also a comfort that the low level of serotonin is health hazardous. Both people in love and patients with obsessive disorders have the same percentage of it.

DOMA: Well, you're still obsessed, 18 months haven't passed?

ANICA: Sixteen months have! I still have two more months! Although I think that in my case it will never pass, this madness...

DOMA: That's what we always think, and that's why it is an obsession; you think that you will be excluded from this general pattern: that you will never stop loving and never grow old and die. I'm writing the answer: the loss of interest in sex is normal in marriage, so that also happened to us... (Writes.)

ANICA: Although there are those who say that it is the same, or even better than in the beginning...

DOMA: So there are such lucky ones? Who can they be? What about the serotonin!? How is that explained?

ANICA: Real and true love. Which includes a particular sensitivity for the partner's erotic needs.

DOMA: Well yes, scientists say that being in love is ephemeral, not love itself!

ANICA: Yes, some of the interviewed women said that the most important thing for a good relationship is having the same temperament and the same rhythm, because if one of the partners is slow and the other one is fast, the fast one is bored by the slow one while the fast one drives the slow one crazy and this destroys love.

DOMA: Well, that's interesting, yes! Only those differences show later on when everything comes to a normal and stable point...

ANICA: Probably. This is related to the next question: "How many times a week did you make love in the first year of your relationship"?

DOMA: Well, every day, every other day! That's the only thing you do! And fortunately this craziness ends! The slavery to estrogen and testosterone! (She writes).

ANICA: "And how many times a week - now?"

DOMA: Once a week? Even less... (She writes) I can't help it.

ANICA: And your libido is greater, so you ask for more. What then?

DOMA: Is that a question in the poll?

ANICA: No, this is what it says: "Do you consider adultery justifiable if you're getting less sex than you need in your marriage?

DOMA: Hmmm. Marriage is not meant only for sex.

ANICA: There are so many other things in marriage, sex only moves to another position!

DOMA: I don't know... This is hard to answer... I can't. I'll pass. Blank.

ANICA: You surprise me. I thought you'd be explicitly against. Can we go on?... "Circle the right answer: How much sex do you get: a) too much; b) enough; c) not enough; d) not at all".

DOMA: Weeell ... Should I skip this too? What should I answer...

ANICA: Now you'll start skipping all the questions? You said already once a week, or never...

DOMA: You're right. I'll circle this. There. (She circles).

ANICA: "Not enough".

DOMA: There. Why should I be ashamed? Darwin claimed that women were shyer because it was a demand of nature. But who cares about Darwin today? Although he can't be denied regarding the apes because men exist!

ANICA: You don't like ape .. men?

DOMA: I adore both! It's hard for me to say who I like the most! Anyway, when will this nuisance end?

ANICA: What? Isn't this amusing?

DOMA: I somehow feel... some dirty tricks!

ANICA: But why?

DOMA: I don't know, I have this feeling ... What's next?

ANICA: "When was the last time you made love?"

DOMA: When I.... Listen, .. this is a bit too much. Why do I need all this? What kind of a pervert and peep-freak wrote these questions?

ANICA: I told you: dr. Jasmina Leko-Pekić, family sociologist, head of the university department.

DOMA: Why does she care when was the last time I got laid?

ANICA: And why would you care about Erica Jong being laid?

DOMA: Because I have her books on the shelf? How did you manage to see that?

ANICA: When I went to the toilet. You bought her books to read the same things that "Panorama" publishes.

DOMA: But she's the one who wants to talk about it! And she's paid millions of dollars for that!

ANICA: Everyone wants to tell others about the most important and eternal issues, common to all, such as: love, sex, adultery, sickness, death, fear, suffering. But these are issues that we consider taboos. We would all be healthier if we were more open. We push and squeeze everything into ourselves, smiling from the outside and crying inside. We are fortresses surrounded by walls.

DOMA: An astrologist on Radio Rijeka said that it's because Croatia is Virgo, and Virgos are reserved and tend to be self-isolated. How many more questions?

ANICA: Not many. You don't have to answer questions that annoy you, but once you've agreed ... go all the way!

DOMA: But why should I?

ANICA: Step out of your armor, your shell, your cage! You're not a Virgo!

DOMA: I'm not, I'm Cancer! But how did you know I wasn't a Virgo?

ANICA: Just joking! Cancers start and then stop! Full of caution and fear not to be revealed too much, they stop and go back, but they're full of desire to open up and reveal themselves! So carry on, even if you lose your way, what can possibly happen to you!?

DOMA: You're saying that to me? To me! I've had enough of unknown paths! But, all right, here you are: in fact I made love - last night. (Writes.)

ANICA: (Screams out.) Last night??????

DOMA: What is it with you? Why did you shout like that?

ANICA: Something has gone down the wrong way. (Coughs, slapping herself on the back.) Sorry that I frightened you. I took a sip too quickly!

DOMA: You're really tipsy! You've been adding rum into your tea! I wasn't paying attention, now I see what you've been up to! What are you doing! And why? Think of the baby and stop drinking! Others make you drink, don't they? And you pour the drinks yourself! (Takes the bottle away.)

ANICA: What do I care about the baby! I'm going to have an abortion, anyway.

DOMA: Oh my God! Something like that is done only as a last resort!

ANICA: This is ... the last resort! There are a few more questions. Do you want to finish this?

DOMA: All right. I might as well complete it all. What else is there?

ANICA: "What is the quality of your sex?  a) long foreplay - short sex; b) short foreplay - long sex; c) long foreplay - long sex..."

DOMA: Skip the variations. (Writes.) Everything's short. And that's it.

ANICA: Getting your work done? Carrying out your duty, to get it over with as soon as possible?

DOMA: And what can I do? I can't prolong anything when he's not interested in it!

ANICA: Your partner's selfish in love?

DOMA: I don't ask for much, not to bother him, and that's exactly what he gives me, and he thinks everything's all right! As soon as I show some more desire and tenderness, he backs out, invents excuses.

ANICA: And you aren't selfish in love?

DOMA: If only I were, perhaps I would get something that I deserve...

ANICA: Your husband has gone somewhere?

DOMA: What makes you think so?

ANICA: It's Sunday, when all husbands are at home and yours isn't.

DOMA: Husbands sleep on Sunday afternoon.

ANICA: That means yours is sleeping, too?

DOMA: My husband's sleeping, my cat's sleeping, my bird's sleeping, my son's sleeping, and I'm slaving here for all of them. Well, it's better that they're asleep. At least I can tidy up the house in peace; I only have Sundays for that... If he's awake he's doing some damage. He may be cutting fringes on the tablecloth, or putting his feet and shoes up on the couch. For a married woman there's nothing worse than a Sunday afternoon!

ANICA: And I thought there was nothing worse than a Sunday afternoon for a single girl!

DOMA: I had a much better time when I was single. I also had to wash the dishes, but at least while doing so I would turn up the music all the way and listen to wonderful symphonies and operas like Mozart's "Jupiter", Verdi's "Ernani" and so on. And now I can't do this because the sleepers need complete silence, and when they're awake they go in and out, always looking for something, asking, nagging, complaining, arguing. "Where's this, where's that?" Men can never find anything in the house ...I used to live on the ground floor, and below my window there was a lawn of a run down yard. I would listen to music, rain was falling on the grass while I was washing the dishes, and when I finished washing, I would study. Those days were full of loneliness, poverty and self-pity, but today I remember them as days of happiness. Now there's no more music, no more lawns, not even much hope; it's a closed circle. The rain doesn't fall to the beat of music anymore...

ANICA: Does some kind of discontent make men only sleep at home?

DOMA: What discontent? What else does he need? He only sleeps to make his stay at home pass quicker!

ANICA: As if he needed to fill in the gaps in time by just sleeping?

DOMA: Right!

ANICA: Perhaps he suffers at home, so he hides like a hedgehog in the leaves of sleep...

DOMA: Like a hedgehog in the leaves of sleep? You know what? To hell with all your psychological crap that always discovers something different than your eyes really see, always looking for something hidden! I have no time to think about what's hidden, since I haven't yet figured out what's visible! You can stuff it!

ANICA: Don't get so angry...

DOMA: As soon as he comes home, you can hear him say: "I want everyone to leave me alone please, I'm not in the mood for any kind of discussion or complaints!" Then he stuffs himself, without saying a word, and then off to bed or in front of the TV, all of this without saying anything. Or he locks himself in his room and writes poems, and you're not even allowed to knock on his door, so he doesn't lose his train of thought...

ANICA: At least he asks politely.

DOMA: Not every time! If I dare to say something, he tells me to shut up, otherwise there will be a quarrel! I have some say everywhere except at home! He plans a quarrel in advance to shut me up! Which means, everything I say leads to the same thing: quarrel. I wait for him all day to tell him about my troubles, feelings, thoughts ...I have enough of these problems and troubles every day, and I always think: today I'll use kindness and warmth to make him talk to me. But then again - nothing. I talk, ask, he doesn't answer, and very soon my kindness and warmth begin to wane. What kind of man is he? If he had any feelings for me he wouldn't let me down like that when I ask him something. If he had any thoughts, he would at least answer me. If he had any human quality, he would answer out of pity. But he doesn't have anything. He's not even civilized, although he's a doctor of psychology.

ANICA: How can he write poems then?

DOMA: He has some sort of gift that's beyond all this. Some sort of impulse such as hunger, such as libido. That's what he says and I believe him, because I know that imperative of having to work regardless of all obstacles.

ANICA: It's strange that he likes words, yet doesn't like to talk to you.

DOMA: He probably wears them all out at the university and on poems.

ANICA: Perhaps you've changed for the worse, so he stopped...

DOMA: Come on! Like hell I've changed, he has suddenly become silent. At the same time he stopped wanting to make love to me. And to refuse a dialogue is like refusing to give opium to a drug addict. My mind, imagination, wit become atrophied ...I talk to myself...

ANICA: And the humanitarian work?

DOMA: That's bare, coarse work, not philosophizing. Solving practical problems of sorrow, misery, hunger and troubles. What kind of dialogue? "When was the last time you ate?" "Three days ago." "Do you have firewood?" - "No, we don't." "Do you have anything to eat tomorrow?" "No, we don't." "Do you have electricity?" - "No, we don't." "Where's your grandmother, she was here the other day?" "Yesterday she went out to dig out potatoes from the frozen soil and a land mine blew her up to pieces!"

ANICA: You surely need some tenderness, support and help at home...

DOMA: And not to mention that it never even crossed his mind to visit such sites with me, to see what it all looks like, to be with me ...No way. Perhaps he would go, if there were cameras following him. Lately I've been feeling rather weak, with pains in my legs, neck, my legs feel insecure, my knees trembling ... I'm so depressed, and this leads to the worst diseases! Such inexpressible anxiety ... And then on top of that he makes me so, so angry! And I can't even show my anger, complain, raise my voice ...I just can't!

ANICA: He'll have to start listening to you if you start shouting!

DOMA: When I shout, he immediately takes his things and leaves! And he doesn't come back home all night!

ANICA: So where does he go when he's not home all night?

DOMA: He goes to his mother's place. To her apartment. She isn't here now.

ANICA: And you don't check this.

DOMA: That's not my style. He'd hate me if I checked up on him. I care about the dignity of my words and actions; I don't want to hear Oscar saying that I'm acting like some kind of low girl. But, I keep all doubts to myself not to make the situation even worse. Anyway, he doesn't even have a telephone there.

ANICA: This isn't such a great situation.

DOMA: Of course not. And women who keep anger and fury to themselves have thickened walls of the carotid and have a greater risk of heart attack.

ANICA: And who would even think that professor Oscar was such a good-for-nothing and lazy fellow.

DOMA: You speak as if you knew him.

ANICA: Well I know him from the media. He gives people advice on how to live, people listen to his program and call him, and once I also asked him something...

DOMA: He's no good-for-nothing; he's wonderful, - away from home! He has psychology at his fingertips, poetry in his hinder brain, he's brilliant everywhere, people admire him; I mean: women. But at home he's such an  - ape-man! Caves, the Stone Age! Poetry is only on paper and nowhere else!

ANICA: Can we continue with the poll? Do you ever wish that you were single again, free and independent?

DOMA: Oh, of course I do, naturally. And when I say this to him, he says: "Then leave." And that's the end of it. And where can I go?

ANICA: The best thing for you would be to divorce him, because you'll be very ill, just like you said...

DOMA: But I'm just not the person who can live alone.

ANICA: You have a son.

DOMA: He's just like my husband, and he's going to leave. In some way he has already left. We aren't allowed to go into his room! Dear God! I only see him when he comes into the kitchen to eat. I ask him: "What are you doing, son, how are you?" And then he says: "What could I possibly be doing, nothing, scratching my ass, I don't give a damn 'cause I'm a doodler, sloth, deadhead, fart-off so don't ask me anything, give me some dough and forget that I even exist."

ANICA: He's a bully, too?

DOMA: Yes, he is. There's a sign on his door that says: "Vstop prepovedan, splošna nevarnost.."

ANICA: Danger, keep out.

DOMA: You're Slovenian?

ANICA: I lived in Ljubljana as a child; I love some things there, and cherish some dear memories...

DOMA: And my mom's there! In Celje! My dad's here, they're divorced. When I was little I adored both of them. I was always slipping into their bed, they couldn't get rid of me! But, the good times didn't last long: six years. Dad lied to my mom and was unfaithful to her ... He was also a bully...

ANICA: Your father, son and husband? All of them are bullies?

DOMA: Yes, just like all other men! I haven't met any other type! Every single one of them!

ANICA: Meaning - you'll divorce him?

DOMA: That would be best! Because, this way I'm just wasting my life...

ANICA: You can have a fresh start! You aren't even 46 yet! Why should you ruin yourself like this?

DOMA: But divorce means recognizing defeat.

ANICA: If you are so miserable in marriage, sooner or later you'll get divorced, so then it's better to do it while you're still young because there's a greater chance for something new.

DOMA: Why do you care so much about my divorce?

ANICA: I want you to save yourself! And hope that this poll also helps you at least a little bit!

DOMA: Marriage creates strange bonds: some deep belonging to a person you love simply because he's there by your side ... Just like you love a cat or dog...

ANICA: You love your husband like a cat?

DOMA: Well, that's a lot!

ANICA: But not enough for a marriage to last! That means reconciling yourself to misery! I'm surprised you accept such a pathetic life, loving a "dog" that snarls at you...

DOMA: My mother's suffering because of the divorce was unbearable; you can't even imagine it. For years I watched how miserable she was because of the broken marriage she had believed in so much, which was so sacred for her! I don't want to go through all that!

ANICA: An unhappy marriage is not sacred, but blasphemy!

DOMA: That's true ...You know what ...I'm so glad that answered all the questions! This gives me a chance to think about my marriage, husband, happiness and sorrow; maybe miss, you'll really help me change my life! Indeed, why should I put up with all this? Oh, I'm so sorry, a little while ago we were on a first name basis!

ANICA: I hardly notice that and it's so irrelevant to me.

DOMA: You know what he thinks of me? That I'm selfish, hysterical, that I'm a failure both as a mother, a wife and a trainee, that I'm inconsiderate and ungrateful, that I complain and grumble ... And that I've become careless about my appearance! He doesn't like my hair, my hands, my legs ...I've just remembered something! I have some cake! Would you like some cake? Why not? I'll bring it right away...

(She hops off into the kitchen and soon returns with a tray full of cakes.)

When I make them they don't resemble the ones in the picture of the cookbook, I can't figure out why; but they're edible. You like them? Help yourself!

ANICA: I adore sweets! (She eats.) And they're really delicious! The appearance is not important, but what counts is the taste. The important thing is that you used some fine ingredients...

DOMA: I simply need cakes. My blood sugar level often drops!

ANICA: I need them too, my starch level drops! (They laugh together amicably.)

DOMA: Go ahead, eat them all. We won't leave anything for them; they say the cakes are no good anyway. They criticize everything I do ... And whatever Oscar thinks about me is completely unfounded, because I know that I'm considerate, gentle, kind, good and I love people. There's nothing worse then when someone who should know you best denies all that, and you know that he isn't right! God gives you a certain nature and then matches you with someone who wants you to change yourself throughout your entire life! His ideal type of woman is completely my opposite: grimacing, with pounds of make up on, high heels, wearing tight blouses and short skirts and long hair!

ANICA: I'm completely the opposite! (Corrects herself immediately.) Yes, smart people look for dumb ones, dumb people for smart ones, short people for tall ones, and tall people for short ones! How terrible this is - living with a man who wants someone completely different!

DOMA: So you end up asking yourself: does he love you at all and did he ever love you?

ANICA: Does he ever tell you that?

DOMA: Sometimes he does, but who cares: words are nothing if they aren't accompanied by deeds.

ANICA: Many women are desperate because their husbands never say this to them.

DOMA: Listen, Anica: if only he would sometimes remember to buy some cabbage or potatoes on his way home ...That would be more than just a token of love! I ask him: "Well, why don't you ever buy something we need instead of coming home empty handed. I'm always a willing horse!" And he says: "I never remember to." And then takes out two bottles of beer from his briefcase. (Which I don't even drink).

ANICA: He remembers the beer because he knows that you won't buy it.

DOMA: Naturally. In fact, when you love someone, you absolve him from responsibility towards yourself; he knows that you'll always forgive him for everything in the name of love.

ANCA: I also indulge the person I love.

DOMA: That shouldn't be so ...But, - who am I to tell you this. My Oscar and I are just like two rails of a railroad track: we travel together in the same direction, but never meet ... Do you have any more questions?

ANICA: There's one more and that's it.

DOMA: Let's see and hear it.

ANICA: "Do you consider your marriage to be exemplary?"

DOMA: Exemplary? My marriage? It would be silly to say ...But ...Let me make some coffee? Then I'll answer when I come back? Let me think?

ANICA: Why do you have to think about that?

DOMA: You have to think about the most important thing in marriage and see if there's something wrong, don't you think?

ANICA: Of course.

DOMA: I'll make some weaker coffee, with a little bit more milk? Oh, yes, you said

that you don't drink coffee; I mean the two of you?

ANICA: We can have a weaker one! And then I'll have a sip of water after each sip of coffee! The baby won't even feel it...

DOMA: Well, all right.

(She goes into the kitchen).



SCENE II



(Anica gets up quickly and opens the door of the room she had been moving about

earlier. She whispers loudly).


ANICA: There you are! You're awake?

OSCAR'S VOICE: (While he approaches the door.) Why are you here? What are you doing here?

ANICA: And what are you doing here? This is your Venezuela? This is Caracas?

OSCAR: (He's at the door) You haven't messed up everything, have you?

ANICA: I don't "mess things up"! Why did you lie to me? Do you want to end this relationship?

OSCAR: And what do you want coming into my home?

ANICA: To see who you really are, what you're like, and if you're really divorcing her, or maybe - me?

OSCAR: Listen, Ana: get out of here quickly; I'll come to your place tonight!

ANICA: No! Come out and tell her everything! You haven't filed for a divorce at all, have you? I'm here to see the copy of those divorce papers!

OSCAR: I'll show you...

(The kitchen doors open, so Oscar closes the door of his room, and Anica pretends to

be looking at the picture on the wall.)


SCENE III


(Doma pours coffee into the cup.)


DOMA: All right? Some tea-like coffee?

ANICA: Fine. Oh! I've spilled it! Oh, I've burnt myself!

DOMA: Wait a minute, I'll bring you a glass of water so you can dip your hand in ...

(Anica blows on her burnt finger, licking it, she's nervous and miserable.)

ANICA: Sorry, I'm so clumsy and bewildered, oh ...

DOMA: (She comes back with the water and dips Anica's hand into the water.) Never mind, never mind. Let's finish off with the last question. Is my marriage exemplary? Well, you know, there are so many flaws, but then again so many wonderful things. We tend to notice bad things much more, and good things don't hurt so they pass by unnoticed, they hurt when we lose them. That's why you should be very careful when assessing this... So, Oscar is the best thing that happened to me!

ANICA: The best thing? What about all that trouble and suffering?

DOMA: Pains of love are nothing compared to an empty heart!

ANICA: Well, this is unbelievable!

DOMA: What? I just took a little time to think it over! I didn't want to be partial since I'm kind-hearted! This man has done so much good for me! Marriage is not only a matter of sex and excitement ...There are so many years of misery that we have gone through together, this brings people closer! Building a life together, overcoming hardships, forming a community after all those obstacles!

ANICA: And what kind of community is that?

DOMA: It's a certain kind ...However, everything that happens between a man and a woman is the most wonderful thing that can happen to you in your life! The most meaningful thing...

ANICA: Now this is quite a radical change! I'm amazed!

DOMA: What? You're the one who made me analyze my situation with this poll! I'm grateful to you! Until yesterday I was so close to getting a divorce! But from this evening on I annul this! I'm the only one to blame if I tend to see only bad things in my marriage.

ANICA: And what if your husband wants a divorce?

DOMA: Impossible. Why would he want a divorce, marriage is something that suits him well. He has never mentioned it; moreover, - he would complain if I brought up the question of divorce! He wouldn't even want to hear about it! He feels a strong sense of belonging ...So do I!

ANICA: How did you get here from the bounds of hatred...

DOMA: Love is like a tail of a lizard: it's restored; when it's cut off it grows back again. Something that's miraculously regenerated. That serotonin often drops and rises in marriage!

ANICA: Meaning that  - it's up to you and only you to decide whether your marriage will continue or not?

DOMA: Fortunately, that's true. Because: I can get divorced and then marry again, and? The other one wouldn't have his weak points or his strong points! I've learned to deal with Oscar's weak points. So why should I be under stress all over again, by revealing my new husband's weaknesses!

ANICA: So, in the end you consider yourself happy in marriage?

DOMA: Well in fact I do! For a moment I forgot how many good things Oscar has done for me! He's my protector and savior, because my life was only trouble and misery, and he gave me shelter, protection and saved me... He spread his huge unselfish wings over me in the hardest days of my life, filled with troubles over a short period: my father fell into a comma, my sister had a car accident, - she was almost killed, and then I lost my job and then fell ill...And that was when Oscar decided to marry me! Who else would do that in such a situation? He thought that I would get over it more easily.... What a man! Whenever I remember that, I forgive him everything!

ANICA: That human dimension is the most important for you ...For that you ...

DOMA: And for you it isn't? And there's another quality, the greatest of all, that makes my husband an ideal model husband: he's faithful to me! That's the most important thing in marriage.

(Takes a ballpoint pen and writes).

ANICA: "My marriage is exemplary?"

DOMA: Because fidelity is the criterion of exemplary marriage! After death and illness, adultery in the family is the third worst tragedy. My father was an adulterer, he destroyed my mother, that's why I promised myself a long time ago: I'll put up with everything, I'll forgive him everything, as long as he's faithful! There, I've written it. The poll's finished, with a nice ending, so we can all go to the seaside now.

ANICA: We can't go to the seaside. You'd better find the correction fluid. One that covers all the letters well.

DOMA: You mean for the last answer?

ANICA: I'm sorry.

DOMA: Have I messed up somewhere? You know something more about me, don't you?

ANICA: Much more, madam. You're lying and are not even aware that ...Why me? If only it were any other woman in the world! No woman at all...

DOMA: I don't like to lie...

ANICA: ...That your husband is cheating you with!

DOMA: Why you, Anica? And I've almost started to like you...

ANICA: Me, too! I'm so sorry!

DOMA: How could I even imagine that such a terrible thing would happen to me? Why me?

ANICA: Please, I beg you a thousand times: forgive me!

DOMA: But you're nothing but a little slut, one slut is just like any other slut! A hag, hot head, easy stuff! Wiggly cow, spotted snake...

ANICA: No, I'm not! My thoughts and emotions are on a higher level...

DOMA: All this is somehow ...filthy ...Devil's hag! Dull witted fool!

(Anica tries to open the door of Oscar's room, but it's locked.)

DOMA: You thick-headed ass, muddle-headed pig ...

ANICA: Oscar! Oscar! (She bangs on the door)

OSCAR: (Comes out suddenly) Why are you acting so wildly? Because of you I can't concentrate on my poem!

DOMA: Poem? About what? "The pussy has sucked out my brain"?

OSCAR: Come on, say what you want to say, so I can go.

(He puts a tie over an unbuttoned shirt)

DOMA: While I was trudging through the deep snow in Lika, my feet all wet, visiting half-dead old people in burnt down villages, the two of you were busy licking erogenous zones! While I was jolting in a jeep, feeling sick, passing through the mine-ridden hinterland of Zadar and freezing in the canyons of Velebit, you two ...Marriage is nothing more but a cage with a beast and a tamer inside! And as soon as the tamer leaves for a second and forgets to close the cage, the beast runs off into the wilderness!

OSCAR: Just listen to her: is she the one saying that marriage is a cage? Or am I?

ANICA: She is ...

OSCAR: After all, who's the beast here? You say that while you were wandering through the wilderness and canyons, we were gently and humanly sitting in a warm room...

DOMA: Sitting? Is that what it's called now? ... I'm saving others, while I'm destroying myself at the same time! ...If I hadn't spent so much time out there, this would never have happened... Well, tell me Oscar, why do you need a lover?

OSCAR: That was the only thing missing in my image to round off my identity.

DOMA: Can you at least explain this, damn it?

OSCAR: I don't have time now; I've got to go.

DOMA: You can't go anywhere until we straighten this all out!

OSCAR: I can't change my plans just because this polltaker has come to spy on me in my own house!

DOMA: You'll leave us two alone in this impossible situation that you've messed up?

OSCAR: You're the one to blame because you want to get married. I didn't see any problems there at all.

DOMA: And where are you going, anyway?

OSCAR: Round table talks.

DOMA: You mean: talk show?

OSCAR: Call it whatever you like.

DOMA: And where is the damn round table?

OSCAR: Croatian Radio Television Talk Show.

DOMA: You can't go now! This is much more important than your table even if it is round!

OSCAR: I promised them.

DOMA: You promised me, too! I won't let you go now!

OSCAR: And how will you stop me?

DOMA: I'll unplug the android, and he'll fall apart! The synthetic humanoid won't be able to function anymore!

(She unbottons his shirt and takes the tie Oscar was just beginning to tie.)

OSCAR: Stop dramatizing. You can think of Anica as an obstacle in life, as so many other obstacles and somehow try to eliminate her, if she bothers you so much!

ANICA: You're telling her to eliminate me???

OSCAR: Or you can eliminate her if you want! And see who succeeds! Or both of you can try to work it out, and I'll agree with whatever you decide.

DOMA: You want us to try to work it our?

OSCAR: One of you can kick me out, then I still have the other one, or both of you can keep me, if you really want to. There are many possible variations and solutions. Think of this as a little game with the demons of diversity, hidden inside, yearning for the unknown, which is known to us all. Or both of you can kick me out!

DOMA: You want both of us to kick you out? And what would you do then?

OSCAR: Open a bottle of vodka! Since I hate champagne! I'm a man, independent, not some sort of fish that gets caught in a net! And even if you don't leave me, I'll leave you!

ANICA: Why me? How can you leave me? I'm pregnant!

OSCAR: What are you?

ANICA: Pregnant!

OSCAR: Well, I'm not responsible for that! I asked you every time and every time you said that you were taking pills! I believed you and I don't want this in reward for my trust!

DOMA: The baby is here! And so is the reward.

OSCAR: I don't want any babies and I don't want a family! I'm not the sort of person who should be married! You don't know until you've tried, but marriage is a very difficult thing for a man! You're constantly under surveillance, always measured, evaluated! They always spy on you, supervise you, you always feel guilty, like you've done something wrong! I don't want a child, children put you in chains, they are weighs that bring you down to earth! Far away somewhere there are other lights shining for me, calling out to me...

DOMA: Are those lights ...in the direction of Sesvete or Zaprešić?

OSCAR: In the direction of Orion and Sirius! A poet needs no one to wait for him at home! Neither a wife, nor children! Only a dog and an old maid from the Caribbean!

DOMA: And what about a canary from the Canary Islands? Look how he wants to get off lightly!

ANICA: Not lightly, but cheaply!

DOMA: You've ruined this girl! She's only 25!

OSCAR: And she's ruined me too and I'm only 44!

DOMA: You're not in a delicate condition!

OSCAR: My condition is truly demanding! You think it's easy to continue moving on two tracks, with a cervical segment of reduced inclination?

DOMA: Did someone force you to move on two tracks?

OSCAR: I just can't live without excitement, because I feel extinguished and choked when my senses are dormant! Well I'm a spear, a divine one! That's my name, what can I do! Oscar: divine spear! There is no better or more precise name for a man!

ANICA: (Gives him the jar) Open this jar!

OSCAR: Whaaat???

ANICA: Open it! We couldn't.

OSCAR: Nonsense!

ANICA: I'm pregnant, I need something sour!

OSCAR: Oh. (Opens it at once, and grabs the gherkins)

I don't need a pregnant woman who eats pickled gherkins, what I need is a wild Lilith, black mare with wind bursting out from her nostrils, who will make me burn with desire, a mad one that will scream and whinny, and make me kneel before her feet and walk on a bed of coals barefoot! I need a dark and somber wickedness with heavy makeup and a wart, who I'll spend the time with biting and scratching and pulling hair, with a heavy cough from smoking cigars and drinking tequila!

DOMA: This is a sick man, not a poet!

ANICA: The fantasy of an excavator!

DOMA: I wonder if this is the person who deserves that we fight for him?

OSCAR: Of course I deserve it! I open jars of gherkins! I contribute to the world's sophistication, I'm an enlightened angel, touched by heavenly grace, christened with intelligence, drank from the  jug of knowledge.

DOMA: That's what you think of yourself?

OSCAR: No, that's what you two said about me! When you were in a better mood. (Peeps repeatedly into the questionnaire) And who did you ask for permission to give information about our intimate life?

DOMA: I answered for myself.

OSCAR: About my sexual abilities and preferences? Well I won't let any of it leave this room! You have no right? Do you hear me, Anica? Tear it all up immediately!

ANICA: How can I, I've been doing all this to earn some money, I can't tear it all up...

OSCAR: You won't? Well, if you won't, then I'll do it!

ANICA: Don't, Oscar, please don't! I've worked so hard with this!

OSCAR: Oh my God, you two fools! I'm a public and respectable person, and you're exposing my genitals in polls! I know Jasmina Leko inside and out!

DOMA: That's what I thought...

ANICA: She won't have the faintest idea whose questionnaires these are!

OSCAR: Of course she won't, because she won't see them! Will you or won't you? You won't? All right! (He tears up the questionnaires) There's your idiotic poll!

DOMA: Just look at the bully how he strikes in all directions and with all means ...A good man defends himself when he's guilty, while a bad man strikes back even when he's the guiltiest! Poor girl!

(Anica collects the paper and sniffles)

OSCAR: What do you mean by "good", and "bad"?! "Poor girl"??? You are the "bad"

ones! Who gives you the right to dissect me like a guinea pig? You want to set off gossip in the newspapers to get even with me? You're too weak and too shallow-brained to make a fool of Oscar Perjar, the doctor of human psyche! What are you whining about now? Polltakers, nursing mothers, nurses, barmaids, cleaning women, scullery maids, pedicurists, hair stylists, mediocracy of our species, good-for-nothings! Why should I feel guilty just because I had a little fun in my free time? Well, I've only just begun!

DOMA: So - you're going to continue?

OSCAR: A placid life has always been driving me crazy! The wildest life  - is the best thing! Like a Yank once said in some film: "No matter how many right things a person does in his life, the result is always devastating, and so this gives me strength to keep on doing crazy things!" Brilliant idea! And I'm living like a chained dog! Well, I'm going to earn my freedom, and that's the only struggle in this world that makes any sense! Win something for myself! Here I come to the barricades, move away all you pawns, all you nobodies, estrogen robots! Viva la revolutia!

DOMA: Why didn't you think of that before? Evading the responsibilities of a father in this way! To the barricades, you say? Well you're nothing but stagnant water, this isn't for you! You sleep, play cards, theorize about "frustrations" and write poems about re-charging batteries on the Milky Way! You explain everyone's mental life, but don't know what your own is like! You have no idea what you're like!

OSCAR: Yes, I do! The worst kind, scorpion, the one who will survive even the nuclear bomb! I stuff myself with everything around me, little by little, my venom bites through everything, it destroys women that I finally chew up!

DOMA: What you really need is a good psychiatrist! Not only one: an entire doctors' consultation! To exterminate such scorpions...

OSCAR: Maybe you would? The two of you? "Two angels came into Enoch's home to enlighten him!" You stupid cows, how happy you'd be to knead me over again to your own standards! Every woman I've ever met has tried to mould me, but not one has managed to change even the slightest detail!

ANICA: Now I understand why my late mother cried when they told her she had given birth to a girl... And she didn't stop crying for quite some time...

DOMA: She doesn't even have a mother. She doesn't have anything. She should at least keep the baby.

OSCAR: And what about you who have kept your baby, what good is it? Maybe your child keeps a caveman or python, and we have no idea!

DOMA: I'm the one keeping a python in my room!

OSCAR: A python chokes you, and yet you're miserable because I'm leaving!

DOMA: I'm not miserable because you're leaving but because you don't want to untie this knot!

(Makes a knot in his tie.)

OSCAR: Right now I only have time for this knot...

DOMA: Well, you know what... You know what, Anica? Maybe everything that's happening is really a blessing for me! This seems as some kind of finger of Fate, some sort of signpost showing me the way... So: if it depends on me, I give up this lover of yours! If you want to have him even after all you've just learnt and realized – well go ahead!

ANICA: I don't have a chance compared to you! You should fight only against someone you're better than, otherwise you can't win!

DOMA: But you can fight even against someone who's better, it's a matter of luck, if winning him can be considered luck! And you aren't any worse, my dear girl and it doesn't surprise me at all that he's fallen in love with you!

ANICA: It doesn't surprise me either that he married you; because you're ...You're such a lovely and interesting woman! I don't have any chance compared to you; no chance at all, where do I stand ...it's a lost battle!

DOMA: But you don't have to fight at all! I surrender him without firing a single bullet! Why should I hang on to my marriage, when the job of a maid is so easy to find! The territory is liberated, you're free! Go ahead, fly!

OSCAR: How can you, just like that?

DOMA: Easy man - easy decisions!

ANICA: I think he loves you more than he would ever love me! And even if he were with me, he would always think and talk about you, call you, he would come here and want to sleep with you and would sometimes do it ... How could I put up with all this? How disturbing this would be. I'd go crazy!

DOMA: What are you talking about? And what makes you think so?

ANICA: Everything I've seen and heard! Well yesterday he told me he filed for a divorce and last night he slept with you!

OSCAR: Last night? Me?

DOMA: Him? Me? Last night he was in Karlovac!

OSCAR: And she was in Trakošćan!

ANICA: That means you weren't together at all?

DOMA: Not even spiritually! He held a round table in Karlovac about the traumas of demilitarized soldiers, and I had a meeting of humanitarian organizations in Trakošćan. And after that ...I was ...with my boyfriend!

OSCAR: With who?

DOMA: With my boyfriend! Who's somewhat younger than you!

OSCAR: You're kidding?!

DOMA: Well, all right I'm kidding!

OSCAR: Who is this guy?

DOMA: Someone.

OSCAR: Who is this someone?

DOMA: My boyfriend - my business! Your girlfriend - your business! There you are, take him! Now he's all yours, little birdie! My blessings! And now you can take her, too! Long live the bride and groom! And may they have a lot of children!

OSCAR: Good God! My wife has someone else! My wife???

DOMA: You were the first one to break the vow of marriage! My relationship has been going on for only two months!

OSCAR: Two months? Relationship? You have a relationship? Someone else is...!!!

DOMA: You rejected me; I was morally entitled to it! When I come closer you say: I'm not a sex machine! Naturally, if you were with her an hour earlier! And what was I to do? To beg you again, or hug someone who begs me?

OSCAR: Good Lord...

DOMA: You know what Anica, you can be completely satisfied, he was very faithful to you! Luckily I also "unwound" a bit; otherwise I wouldn't be able to bear this! As if I suspected it all, completely unconsciously... It all fits so well! Now, we're even Oscar, so we can say good-bye peacefully, as friends!

OSCAR: And I was an idiot, I never suspected anything! You weren't home for days and nights, and I never even thought... It never occurred to me... Who knows how many times and who you spent the time with! And in Bosnia, with all those Europeans... UNPROFOR, IFOR, SFOR, BIFOR, TRIFOR, TUFOR, PRUFOR...

DOMA: And not even to mention those Bosnians! We were covered with snow, and misery brought us close together!

OSCAR: Now you tell me: who is this guy who is snatching away my wife?

DOMA: Considerate, understanding, humanist who knows how to speak and knows how to listen to others, socially a liberal democrat...

OSCAR: A politician?

DOMA: Not a chance.

OSCAR: Who is this man, what's his name, I know them all!

DOMA: You'll find out when the time comes.

OSCAR: (To Anica.) Listen, you go home now, there are some things I have to discuss with my wife.

ANICA: I was just thinking of leaving... I've spent all afternoon, and there's no poll...

OSCAR: I'll make up for it! Go now; I'll come by tomorrow to sort things out with you too!

(Anica collects the remaining questionnaires.)

I just can't get over it! My Doma in bed with someone else! Why, why did you do this? Tell me, how and why???

DOMA: Because of the image.

OSCAR: Whaaat???

DOMA: To round off my identity. That's your explanation.

OSCAR: And what about yours? I just can't get it out of my head! My wife sleeping around?! Can this be true at all? Would you be willing to destroy everything we had because of some kind of intense libido or castration complex or absence of father during the delicate years?

DOMA: Me? You've ruined it all! I was living in desolation and emptiness, because you destroyed all the love! A woman does nothing all her life but search for someone to love...

ANICA: Are my socks dry?

OSCAR: What are you doing? Why are you taking your socks off?

ANICA: I'm returning your socks, so you can give me back mine.

DOMA: Take those socks with you, you poor girl! Yours are so worn out! These are his socks, anyway! So take them, that's the least he can do for you!

OSCAR: I gave her a lot of things!...Some things... A few...

DOMA: Of course, you're also a humanitarian! All men are like that...

OSCAR: Come on now, Anica, please leave. Do you hear me? I want to be here alone with my wife, for God's sake!

DOMA: Violently again. Always violently! Who knows, Anica, if you don't take him, will you find someone better? Don't go anywhere without him.

ANICA: He wants you.

DOMA: Of course he doesn't, his ego is just bruised, he's furious because he has been defeated in front of you! He's not the type of man who will allow to be abandoned and defeated. But he loves you!

OSCAR: Oh, come on, I love neither one of you! Who am I wasting my time with, instead of minding my own business!

(He rushes out of the room and slams the door.)

ANICA: Perhaps he's a bad husband only in combination with you... He was good towards me, but lately there was some disagreement because I asked about the divorce too often...

DOMA: Hey... Perhaps he is potentially a great husband... You'll have a chance to see for yourself... Perhaps. If the Good and Wicked fairy meant it to be so.

(Oscar runs into the room, grabs Doma and drags her to the opposite corner.)

OSCAR: I'm sure that you can't leave me because you're mine! You're simply mine! I don't want to leave our family! It's the best thing I have and I have ever achieved! I couldn't live without you.

DOMA: You couldn't live without me, Oscar?

OSCAR: You've always been my lovely, nice wife - darling, my favorite girl, my Bouncy Ball! I won't let some democrat take you away from me!

DOMA: You won't let him, Oscar?

OSCAR: If you leave me, I'll never laugh again!

DOMA: Just look at how Don Juan has turned into Don Desperados! I won't leave you!

OSCAR: You won't?

DOMA: You will! I'm staying here and you're leaving. This is my home and my child is here, and you have your mother's apartment!

OSCAR: That miserable place? That's not an apartment, but a hen house! And a burnt down one!

DOMA: If it was good for as a lover's nest it will also be good as a nest for a married couple.

OSCAR: What a wretched nest... And what if my mother suddenly decides to come home from the old people's home like she's done so many times before?

DOMA: She won't any more, knowing that she has caused a fire. She's afraid, and since then she hasn't...

OSCAR: But does that ... that...nice, polished guy really exist?

DOMA: Why shouldn't he? If I'm such a fine woman, why shouldn't there be an identical male?

OSCAR: Better than me?

DOMA: Look: I haven't found someone better, more handsome, or healthier, I've just found a way out.

OSCAR: Was it so difficult to be with me that you had to find a way out?

DOMA: It sure was.

OSCAR: I wasn't even aware of that...

DOMA: That's the worst thing.

OSCAR: A way out? All right! Then: have your way out. It's best that way. I'm almost late. For Vida Mikulica, the editor, she thinks highly of me and trusts me. Good-bye.

ANICA: And what about me?

OSCAR: You? You can also find ... your way out!

(He rushes out suddenly, but soon returns, sits in the armchair between Doma and Anica, and unties his tie.)

To hell with the television! I can't go to that crappy show, when everything's messed up at home...

DOMA: You know what, Anica, I'm terribly interested in what conclusion professor Jasmina  Leko-Pekić will reach - about the love life of Croatian women!

OSCAR: Professors, editors, humanitarians, polltakers... I'm fed up with all of you!

(He's loosening his tie and tugging it upwards, as if he's about to hang himself. Anica suddenly takes her purse, her jacket and folder and goes toward the exit.

ANICA: I'm going now, goodbye everyone.

(Doma goes after her, takes her hand and brings her back.)

DOMA: No, no, you can't go anywhere now! I'm not going to chase you down the street. We all screwed up. It is time for a change and everyone  involved will stay together, until we figure out what kind of change it is. Would you like to drink something, Oskar? (to Anica) Sit here, baby.

(Anica sits).

ANICA: You are Domina after all, you should know.
DOMA: How would I have married  a sado-masochist husband otherwise? But my sucessor is also fit for the job.


THE END



















Facebook! TwitThis